The Mets drafted Holkzkom in the 4th round in 2006 and signed him to a $210,000 bonus. The hard-throwing RHP, reached as high as Savannah in 2008, walking 45 batters in 47.1 innings. He missed a year with Tommy John surgery and then hooked up with the Reds, for whom he walked 13 in 8.2 innings in the California League this year. At 6'7", he never ever learned to throw strikes, or a breaking ball.
Oh, so the real news with Holdzkom? He did an amazing impromptu interview on comedian Chelsea Peretti's podcast. He just called in and started talking. Aaron Gleeman at Hardball Talk did the detective work.
I did the transcription. It turns out that Holdzkom 1. blew his signing bonus on sushi, a truck and booze, 2.most importantly "wasn't as good as he thought he was," and 3. is heading to Australia to play winter ball.*
This is his baseball reference card.
The call transcript follows after the jump.
Chelsea: The topic is your mom. The topic is your mom.
John: What'd you say?
Chelsea: The topic is your mom.
John: The topic - my specific mother?
John: Alright, cool. What should I tell you about her?
Chelsea: Um, I don't know. What's to know, you know?
John: Well, she was born in Clovis New Mexico, about 50 years ago...
Chelsea: How old are you?
John: I'm about 24.
Chelsea: Oh, shit. You're just a young man getting a start in this world. How's life going so far as an adult?
John: I've already blown a small fortune.
Chelsea: You did?
Chelsea: Ach, why? What was the fortune? How much is a small fortune, $10 grand?
John: No, when I was 18, the New York Mets gave me $210,000.
Chelsea: Whoa, why?
John: Because they thought I was a good baseball player.
Chelsea: Oh my god. What happened?
John: Just buying sushi every night. Thinkin I'm the man. Bought a new car. It'll catch up to ya.
Chelsea: What kind of car?
John: Just a standard F150, but then I did stupid stuff to it, you know?
Chelsea: I do not know what a standard F150 is. You realize you're talking to a female, right?
John: Oh, my bad.
Chelsea: What is that?
John: It's a Ford truck, you know?
Chelsea: I would have expected you to say, "I bought a Lambo" or something like that.
John: I wasn't quite Lambo rich, I wish.
Chelsea: So you bought this truck. You got a bunch of sush, you had sush cranking through your sys.
John: Yeah, exactly.
Chelsea: So then what happened, you started sucking at baseball?
John: I did, I did. I'm not going to lie. I wasn't as good as I thought I was and my arm wasn't as healthy as I thought it was.
Chelsea: Damnit. What happened to your arm, honestly?
John: Oh, my elbow blew out, but then they fixed it. But then I came back and I just couldn't stay off the bottle, you know.
Chelsea: Really, are you telling me lies?
Chelsea: What do you mean, you couldn't stay off the bottle, you were a drunk?
John: Nah, I wouldn't say that much. But when you have to be somewhere at 6 am, it's not advantageous to stay out 'til 2 am. You know?
Chelsea: That means you ruined your huge career shot with drinking, which equals - you have a major alcohol problem.
John: I wouldn't say "major." I was irresponsible, and too young to understand the ramifications of my actions.
Chelsea: Damn, you sound mad mature right now.
John: I know, it's amazing what happens when you're a broke dick. Oh, I'm sorry, are you allowed to curse?
Chelsea: Yeah, you can say whatever you want. See? Dick. Cunt.
John: I like to keep it mormon though, if I can.
Chelsea: Oh, ok. So, you just basically, pissed away your chance. Was this like the ... the minors, the minor leagues and the major leagues?
John: Yeah, I was just a minor league nobody.
Chelsea: And you failed at even that. (Laughs)
John: I did fail at that, yeah, that's true. I do have some opportunities coming up. I'm going to Australia to play.
Chelsea: Oh, that's cool.
John: It's not exactly the Mecca of baseball, you know?
Chelsea: You want me to teach you some pertinent terms? Good catch, mate.
Chelsea: Good throw mate. There's a koala on the field. Stuff like that should help you.
John: I can only assume that's what's gonna go on.
Chelsea: Yeah, it's gonna be crazy out there. You gotta be ready to bunt a koala out into the...
John: Have you been there?
John: But it's going to be crazy, though.
Chelsea: Yeah, it's going to be crazy, dog.
Chelsea: So you got your arm back together, do you still drink, now?
John: Oh, no. Right now I'm drinking a vegetable - I saw that movie, nearly fat thick and dead, so I've been juicing.
Chelsea: Whoa, I've gotta see that. I lot of my friends here in Hollywood juice. It's really irritating.
John: Yeah, since I live in the LA area too, it's kinda caught on, and now I've been getting my nutrients on every day.
Chelsea: Are you very tan?
John: I got a farmer's tan.
Chelsea: Ugh, come on man, you live in the LA area. Hit a poolside, man.
John: I'm not like a typical LA person. I live in the Inland Empire, which isn't very nice.
Chelsea: What's that, Compton area?
John: Like Rancho Cucamonga.
Chelsea: I would almost move there, just for the name.
John: It's a bitch though, when you're writing on an envelope - your return address. It's a lot of letters.
Chelsea: Yeah, they should make some kind of official abbrev: Rancho Cuc. We'll leave it at that.
John: Yeah, I'll go to the town hall meeting next week, and petition for that.
Chelsea: Ok, cool. So far, you've been my favorite caller.
*Note: This sentence has been edited for accuracy.